To Casey Tighe, Jefferson County Commissioner via e-mail:
The issues I see and experience in my neighborhood with the Jefferson County sheriff’s department could hardly be more serious. Today I am asking the FBI to investigate color of law abuses and I will additionally contact my U.S. attorney and the DOJ if necessary. Evidence/allegations include fabricated evidence, false arrest, no/extremely adversarial complaint process, lack of proper supervision/monitoring, lack of/improper training, failure to protect/provide safety, repeated threats, name calling, personal visits, unsolicited/unwanted calls and e-mail, illegal search, suppression of legal rights (e.g., access to property), systematic failure to respond to crime reports, and falsified public records. Efforts to have the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office investigate have been unsuccessful and some of these allegations may apply to that department as well. I strongly request that the Commission/county investigate so that these matters may be handled “in house” and…
- fabricated evidence;
- suppression of evidence;
- false arrest;
- no/extremely adversarial complaint process;
- lack of proper supervision/monitoring;
- lack of/improper training;
- failure to protect/provide safety (more generally: neighborhood law enforcement);
- repeated threats, name calling, personal visits, unsolicited/unwanted calls and e-mail;
- (suspicious search and confiscation methods);
- suppression of legal rights (e.g., access to property);
- systematic failure to respond to crime reports;
- falsified public records;
- Interference with U.S. Postal Service operations;
- obstructing legal/civil actions;
- repeated/systemic failure to identify themselves;
- interference with First Amendment/right to petition;
- failure to respect citizens’ right to report crime.
‘I am interpreting a law how I want and you are accused.’ This could even include ‘making up’ a law. The inverse or opposite is also true: ‘I say this law doesn’t mean that therefore it is not illegal.’ This second or inverse application results in a lack of protection or a harm to society. Law enforcement and other public employees cannot do this. People’s rights are violated as a result. This is what is known as a “color of law” violation.
It does not matter whether it is individual or organizational. Individuals can’t do it. Organizations have a responsibility to stop it. Obviously, organizations cannot support it or create a culture that allows it.
The FBI website provides information to help understand the organizational aspects these civil rights violations. The individual violations are related-to, caused-by, or explicitly or tacitly supported by top officials within the organization. This is where things like training, supervision, and complaint procedures come into play.
I strongly believe that the systemic, long-term implicates the organizations top executive, sheriff Ted Mink. Specific communications directed-to and ignored by him support this conclusion.
In this case the examples–they are many, with multiple, specific pieces of evidence to support each one–are based on my personal experience. This must not be reason to discount the extreme severity of the abuses. There are virtually no government-supported avenues for others to come forward: the local district attorney and attorney general have refused to even look into it and Colorado has no state police. Information provided to the sheriff’s department is, in reality, used to suppress the abuses; there is absolutely no public, accessible disclosure forum.